By Sadef Ali Kully
JAMAICA — Five days apart, two Caribbean Airline passengers were arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle in cocaine at John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
On April 7, Thenga Adams, 30, from Guyana tried to sneak past Custom officers, but was stopped in his tracks, Customs said. Officers stopped Adams for an inspection and discovered sneakers in his luggage that contained a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine, the feds said. The total weight of cocaine seized was approximately 2 pounds and the Drug Enforcement Agency estimated the street value to be $30,000.
Adams was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security.
But the first arrest did not stop a 70-year-old woman, who was accused of stuffing her undergarments with cocaine and trying to thwart authorities at JFK a few days later, Customs said.
On April 12 Caribbean Airline passenger Olive Fowler arrived in New York on a flight from Georgetown, Guyana and was pulled aside for questioning when she showed signs of nervousness Customs agents said.
Fowler was subsequently escorted to a private search room where CBP officers conducted a physical search and noticed her unusually bulky girdle, the agency said. It was during this search that they found packages concealed within the layers of the girdle and underwear, according to the feds.
The cocaine packages were stuffed in between two layers of her girdle and produced a white powder that tested positive for cocaine, Customs and Border Protection said. An estimated total weight of approximately 4 pounds of cocaine was seized, with an street value of more than $73,000, according to the latest DEA statistics.
Fowler was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security.
This is not the first time U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in New York have seen this concealment method, they said.
Both face federal narcotics smuggling charges and will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.